Alcohol-Removed Wine Is More Than Just Grape Juice

The best non-alc wines for celebrating Dry January.

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Leitz

One of the largest riesling producers in Germany



“They’re an amazing brand with a storied history, saying, ‘We’re going to stand up a dealcoholized wine, and it's going to be good.’”

A best-seller at Boisson, the brand specializes in German riesling and pinot noir grapes.

The brand also just released a blanc de blancs, which Bodkins says is fantastic. “They make it in both still and sparkling,” he says.

Teetotaler

This Canadian brand produces alcohol-removed Spanish wines.



The white wine is made from the Airén grape, which is native to Spain, and delivers crisp notes of apples and roses.

The red, which is made in Spain from 100% tempranillo grapes, contains notes of oak, cherry, and plum.

Thomson & Scott

Each bottle contains almost half the sugar content of other non-alcoholic sparkling lines and only 14 calories per glass.



Thompson & Scott’s “Noughty” line of sparkling dealcoholized wines features a 100% chardonnay and tempranillo rosé.

“We sell more of that brand than almost anything else,” Bodkins says.

Sovi

They've really done red right.



This California-based, canned wine brand first went to the market with an alcohol-free canned rosé.

But for Bodkins, their new, slightly effervescent red blend drinks like a great lambrusco.

“One of my favorite restaurants in New York City, Rezdôra, is known for bringing lambrusco at the beginning of your meal,” Bodkins explains.

“And the red blend felt to me like I was having that first-class tease of lambrusco. They've really done red right.”

Surely

Surely works with Sonoma winemakers to offer alcohol-removed rosé, pinot noir, and sauvignon blanc, as well as sparkling varieties.

The brand also carries a canned brut wine, which has hints of lemon, peach, and custard, as well as a few canned spritzes.

The Lemon Ginger Spritz makes use of its non-alcoholic brut, while the Coconut Passion Fruit Spritz combines its non-alcoholic rosé with fresh juice.

Difference between non-alcoholic and de-alcoholized wines

Photo: MAGGIE ROSSETTI FOR THRILLIST.

The former is a more general term, usually used to refer to wines that are made without fermenting grapes, resulting in a sweeter product.

The latter is made using the exact same process as alcoholic wine, but once the fermentation process is complete, the alcohol is removed.

“The big difference is that these products started out as wine—they go through the maturation process, they have alcohol.

Most of the brands that we carry go through vacuum dealcoholization,” Bodkins says.

“They put the wine into a pressurized container, lower the air pressure until alcohol boils at room temperature, and then what’s left is everything else.

So what you end up with, then, is in effect still wine without that one component, which is the alcohol.”

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